Poll: Should Microsoft re-brand Internet Explorer?

Earlier this week, the development side of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team took to Reddit to answer questions from users around the world. During the session, one individual asked if the team had ever considered re-branding the browser to escape the negative connotation that is associated with Internet Explorer.

The team responded that they had considered doing such a thing but ultimately decided to stick with Internet Explorer as the name has significant consumer recognition to it. But, do you think Microsoft should have re-branded the browser or was sticking with Internet Explorer the right move?

Obviously, many things get talked about internally that never make it outside the walls of Redmond. Even though IE may not have the best brand reputation at this time, it does appear to be improving and with enough time, IE may eventually regain the consumer confidence it desires - and that it needs if it is to keep up with Chrome and Firefox.

Let us know in the poll and comments below if you think that they should have re-branded the browser and if so, what would you like to see it called?

Poll

Should Microsoft re-brand Internet Explorer?

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Larger iPhone could be known as the iPhone 6L

Next Story

QNAP TS-451 Review: Storage and Virtualization in one

136 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I think a rename would have made sense if they had made a clean break from IE6 keeping both in the market simultaneously that way they could compare and contrast the two, but as it is I think it is too late and they should keep the name and rebuild the rep.

This would be a dumb idea. No one will be fooled by a name change. Unless you radically change the UI or something, everyone will know its IE and all the baggage that comes with that. Just make it the best browser hands down and keep making it the best and people will come around. Being "almost as good as Chrome" in people's minds (even though I consider it better) is not enough. A new name changes nothing.

I doubt a new name would help. Microsoft as a whole just isn't "cool" anymore in most consumers eyes. Microsoft just needs to focus on what they have been doing and restore their image on a company wide basis

They should re-brand it as MiNAMIB: Microsoft New Advanced Modern Internet Browser. It would go nice with their way of branding and re-branding.

Maybe keep the name but add an X like Internet Explorer X for the next big version but redesign the UI to make it look fresh and of course, improve performance in some way, and PLEASE improve the download manager UI and its features, it SUCKS.

No,

Screw it, doesn't matter what MS does people bash it and flip out without trying it. MS needs to just do what they are doing and ignore bad perception by Internet hipsters.

Been a firefox user for years but in win 8.1 I don;t bother with firefox IE is a really good browser now but of course the hipsters can;t admit that are even try it cause they won't seem as cool.

Edited by swanlee, Aug 18 2014, 1:39pm :

Yes, especially since it's been said Microsoft may move to another release schedule. This is perhaps the worst brand name in the industry. I think it's tainted beyond rescue.

This poll is useless. Too many trolls and IE haters voted for NO. I used Firefox and chrome for years till IE10 was released and I switched for a reason. Firefox kept crashing on my computer (no I had no extensions installed) every update to firefox made it worse and reinstall did not help. The story with chrome is kind of the same, random crashes. So because of lack of good Browsers (opera aside) I decided to "try out" IE 10 and did not regret it. IE10 is awesome there are some downsides to it like automatic upgrades (IE11 > IE12) but it is fast it is fluid and did not crash once. I am really impressed. I for one want MS to absolutely rebrand IE because people assume that it is the same old ###### browser everyone hates an makes fun of, it really isn't.

they should not only rename it, but revamp its UI as well, to reflect the rest of the browsers, because certain parts like bookmarks or history need this

That is like asking "Should Microsoft re-brand Windows?" or "Should Microsoft re-brand the .NET Framework?"

I'd wager that the majority of users, use it because its internet explorer. The ones tech savvy enough to switch browsers will be savvy enough to recognise it's just a rebrand.

No. Just focus on continuing to improve the browser. A rebrand would blow up in their faces as the tech blogs / tweets / youtubers took to the web. They'd have a ball with that. Just stand firm, continue to update it and make it the better browser.

It doesn't need a new name it just needs to be more compatible with more sites. If they would fix this one thing fewer people would stop running to Chrome and Firefox.

Should Microsoft trick 'normal' people into believing Microsofts new browser is not the much hated Internet Explorer with a new name? It sounds like something MS would do.

While they are it it maybe they should relaunch Windows Phone and try again with that too?

what is wrong with "Internet Explorer"?
Anyway, hmm.. lets see..
Internet ?
OneBrowser ?
Ibrowse ?XD Sorry in advance..
Inbro or Inbrow ?

IE comes with a poor rep because of what MS does with it. As a long term IE user I have seen it become something that doesn't let me organise its toolbar layout in full, doesn't let me arrange non html icons in my own order on the favourites bar and generally takes so long to deal with issues that we end up downloading Chrome just to stay productive and feel that our issues are dealt with. Changing the name wont help, the culture needs to change.

Changing the name won't make it less IE. Rather than trying to trick customers into using a "new" browser they should actually build a new browser from scratch if they want a browser with a different name.

Darrian said,
Changing the name won't make it less IE. Rather than trying to trick customers into using a "new" browser they should actually build a new browser from scratch if they want a browser with a different name.

That's a terrible (and frankly unfeasible) idea.If some people (and Microsoft) are to be believed - which personally I'm inclined to do - the current version of IE has little to do with the IE of yesteryear. Thus it really *does* come down to the issue that it takes (much) longer to change people's perception than it does to change the product. In fact, possibly a whole generation's perception of IE, the brand, will *never* change, regardless of how much the product changes.

Really? Unfeasible from Microsoft? IE may have undergone some massive changes, but it is still IE. I still am nowhere near happy with it, either. If they can start a project to rebuild Windows from scratch surely they can rebuild IE. But they should not rebuild IE. They should bury it and create a wholly new browser with new design philosophies.. All they have really done with it is make it prettier and faster, but they really haven't changed any of the major reasons people prefer other browsers. There are reasons we still continue to use Firefox, Chrome, Opera and others, despite Microsoft's best efforts.

Internet Explorer is really nice these days. It still lacks a lot of what most desire when using Chrome and Firefox which is extensions (it has 'support' for them but it isn't really that great).

Personally I use IE because it is very quick and beats Chrome and Firefox for me on all three of my machines. Looking forward to future versions and releases by Microsoft that make it even better!

it is not internet explorer's name, it is the functionality, they ignored it for a few years, and now working hard to catch-up, which is good, but they are not their yet, the competition is full force ahead.

Browse the internet from chrome and then try it with IE, with Chrome all my devices are in sync, and the ui and search are nice, with IE it is almost the same, but just almost, not better, it has to become better

it is not the name, it is functionality

Sure, and with Google doing anything to c*ckblock MS in every web implementation, sure Chrome works better. See pointer events, the latest warzone between Google and MS for web domination.

Evidence: IE 11 on WP8.1 All of a sudden it magically works on anything Google..... ;-)

Microsoft Browser for Internet Access and Workgroups 64 bit Service Pack 1 September Update.

This should be the new name

pratnala said,
Microsoft Browser for Internet Access and Workgroups 64 bit Service Pack 1 September Update.

This old "joke" again? Sooo old.

agtsmith said,
Here's a good joke though: your website uses 3888x3888px image resized to 60px. Congrats!

Ad hominem in response to a joke, oooh yes.

Anibal P said,
Forget renaming it, just kill it off once and for all, everyone and the Internet will be a better place

Was just thinking pretty much the same about "expert" opinions like yours.

Got to drop the "Explorer" too. Maybe then, Bingster? nah. lol Anyway, a new name won't help. They have to implement a robust easy extension/add-on system like the others!

No. It won't fool most people and it will only serve to confuse those that it wouldn't fool.

IE is slowly but surely shedding its previous image so they should just stick with that and keep improving what they have.

Tech085 said,
or they can ditch it and ppl can have a option in installation to choose firefox or google chrome. ;)

Had to double take there until i saw the emoticon :p

Does MS change Trident engine too? Or only IE name will be blah blah! with old Trident ****?
Apple has something cool: Webkit
Google has a fork of Webkit: Blink
Mozilla has: Gecko
Microsoft has: well, let's talk about Netscape

I vote for YES and hope MS change engine too!!

Edited by Eric, Aug 18 2014, 1:06pm :

No.

Reason: It's still the same program/code underneath. It's still a primary vector for malware on Windows. And it's plainly inferior to other browsers like Chromium and Firefox.

Given Microsoft's abysmal ability to name or brand things, I can't imagine any name they came up with would be any better than "Internet Explorer". Besides, it's Microsoft, and they already use "Explorer" so many places... File Explorer among them... that it's just consistent and makes sense.

IE is a pretty great browser right now. The problem lies in the name. People who haven't used it in years still associate it with a terrible experience and continue to preach the same online. Look at some of the comments posted, people are still dealing with a very negative perception of the browser.

If Microsoft kept IE around and released a new browser, (exactly the same backend of IE, but with retouched UI and branding) people would definitely check it out.

LightEco said
If Microsoft kept IE around and released a new browser, (exactly the same backend of IE, but with retouched UI and branding) people would definitely check it out.
No they wouldn't, for exactly the reason you mention:
The problem lies in the name. People who haven't used it in years still associate it with a terrible experience

This is pretty much exactly why Microsoft should not change the name. It already has a reputation, so running from that is admittance of defeat. Fix the problems, as they have been doing, and move on.

Chrome and others are going the way of IE6 with proprietary, non-standard CSS extensions and such things as add-ons that do little more than break standards... something Google, Mozilla and others would have you think they support... yet do little to prove it.

I suppose it says volumes when Microsoft has to 'fix' IE so it correctly render sites that use non-standard standards?

Firefox right now is the slowest browser and just recently announced support for MP4 and MSE. Certain dolts still think it is a good browser.

Chrome is actively destroying website compatibility and becomes the new IE6.

IE still has poor settings and management features which haven't changed since forever ago as well as a bad reputation.

_Alexander said,
Firefox right now is the slowest browser and just recently announced support for MP4 and MSE. Certain dolts still think it is a good browser.

Chrome is actively destroying website compatibility and becomes the new IE6.

IE still has poor settings and management features which haven't changed since forever ago as well as a bad reputation.

Firefox is still a good browser. It does have some ui responsiveness issues, but it is nowhere near as slow as people claim, and work on improving ui responsiveness is well underway with omtc, e10s etc...

Also calling firefox users 'dolts' is very immature.

ViperAFK said,

Firefox is still a good browser. It does have some ui responsiveness issues, but it is nowhere near as slow as people claim, and work on improving ui responsiveness is well underway with omtc, e10s etc...

Also calling firefox users 'dolts' is very immature.


Well you can't call a person who thinks that a browser without

multi process tabs, MSE/h264/DXVA, no-blacklist GPU acceleration, touch centric UI for Windows, and 64-bit support

is a good browser smart in my immature opinion.

_Alexander said,

Well you can't call a person who thinks that a browser without

multi process tabs, MSE/h264/DXVA, no-blacklist GPU acceleration, touch centric UI for Windows, and 64-bit support

is a good browser smart in my immature opinion.

MSE/h.264 are already being worked on, and the windows version already has h.264 support enabled by default, and partial MSE support which can be enabled via about:config... Also, firefox already already has dxva acceleration for h.264... You might want to fact check some of your claims.

And chrome lacks things that firefox has like toolbar customization, bookmark tagging, full smooth scrolling etc... What makes a 'good browser' is subjective. Classifying people who think firefox is a good browser as 'dolts' is immature, yes. I hands down prefer firefox to chrome, but I don't think chrome is a bad browser, nor do I insult chrome users.

Edited by ViperAFK, Aug 17 2014, 9:39pm :

_Alexander said,
IE still has poor settings and management features which haven't changed since forever ago as well as a bad reputation.

I beg to differ. IE's manageability with Group Policy is second to none. It's far superior to that used by Chrome and Firefox.

IE needs automatic background updates. This would solve so many problems with the web. Too many people never bother updating IE.

Xilo said,
IE needs automatic background updates. This would solve so many problems with the web. Too many people never bother updating IE.

It's already had that since IE 10.

No, it doesn't. You have to manually update from IE8/9 to further versions in the first place. IE10 won't auto update to IE11.

Perhaps it should be renamed not just because of FUD, but because the name doesn't sound so cool. It just sounds too generic, and almost like a definition of "browser".

bigmehdi said,
Perhaps it should be renamed not just because of FUD, but because the name doesn't sound so cool. It just sounds too generic, and almost like a definition of "browser".
How does one make the connection between "Opera", "Firefox" or "Chrome" to the Internet?
Answer- one can't.

The name, Internet Explorer, explains exactly what it does and is exactly the type of association any product worth its weight should have with the product being delivered.

abecedarian paradoxious said,
How does one make the connection between "Opera", "Firefox" or "Chrome" to the Internet?
Answer- one can't.

The name, Internet Explorer, explains exactly what it does and is exactly the type of association any product worth its weight should have with the product being delivered.

For me the name of a software is just like any brand; and the main purpose of a brand is not to explain what a product is doing , but to provide a unique identity (and preferably, an attractive one).
Firefox sound like an exotic animal. "Internet explorer" just sounds like a banal browser.

bigmehdi said,

For me the name of a software is just like any brand; and the main purpose of a brand is not to explain what a product is doing , but to provide a unique identity (and preferably, an attractive one).
Firefox sound like an exotic animal. "Internet explorer" just sounds like a banal browser.

And no matter how much you polish a turd, including giving it a flashy name, all you have is a shiny piece of sh*t that hopefully can live up to its name which may be why Mozilla decided to change the name from Netscape to Firefox, and Google chose Chrome- for flash and pizzazz instead of functionality and relevance.


... and we'll forget "Chrome" is and was a reference to various UI elements in Windows.

abecedarian paradoxious said,
which may be why Mozilla decided to change the name from Netscape to Firefox, and Google chose Chrome- for flash and pizzazz instead of functionality and relevance.

Firefox was significantly different to Netscape, at the time they released it. Much less bloated , and better performance. Also it was the begin of the open source era. It was much more than a name change.

Pointless. Majority of the people that criticize and poke fun of IE are power users. You want to win that crowd over? Overhaul the outdated UI and allow for a better extension store.

rorrr said,
Poll: Should Microsoft re-brand itself?

^this!

Consumer confidence in Microsoft has never been lower than it is today, rebranding itself would be the best thing Microsoft could ever do.

Internet explorer is more of a description than a name. Like "music player" or "word processor".

idk, just call it "Explorer". You can keep the blue icon and it sounds like a name instead of a crappy description from the 90s.

Yeah...no. Windows already has an Explorer, and you use it to browse your files.

Windows/File Explorer->Files
Internet Explorer->The Web

compl3x said,
Internet explorer is more of a description than a name. Like "music player" or "word processor".

idk, just call it "Explorer". You can keep the blue icon and it sounds like a name instead of a crappy description from the 90s.

It fits with their generic naming scheme they've always had: Windows, Office, Xbox (DirectX Box), etc...

Hell no. Too well known.

Anyway, Chrome/Safari are well on their way to becoming the new IE6. Microsoft should stick to doing it right for once and be the saviour. Google and Apple are going to ruin browsers.

Renaming IE won't do anything. Microsoft has to support older versions of Windows for long (Windows 7 must get IE 12 and 13) and at the same time, they must create a way through which they can make IE updates smooth, AUTOMATIC* and in the background - Mozilla and Google made this a priority and their efforts do pay off, you have a very high probability of finding the latest version of Firefox or Chrome installed on a computer, and a much lower probability of founding the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Also, they HAVE TO create an interface for extensions and add-ons so that they cannot hamper the native user experience of IE and so each add-on does not take up a full toolbar.

* For those who have problems with automatic IE updates, Microsoft can make some setting to disable that via some Registry setting and in deployment options for the businesses.

At this point I think they should. Average people have no idea anyways, they just see it as the blue icon that takes them to the Internet. It's like with Windows 8, I talk to people all the time that hate it so Microsoft has effectively abandoned it for Threshold.

If they change it all the old people and people who don't care about tech like we do would have no idea how to get on the internet. People would complain just like when they took away the Start button.

No, they've already gone overboard with the rebranding thing.. everybody knows what it is, you either like it or don't, name change won't change much. Just going to add more confusion.

IC Internet Canvas (no sounds too much like interstitial cystitis...)
Bing Experience?
Bing Browser (BB cool lol)
One Browser
Outlook Explorer (unless they just don't want the word explorer anymore?)

Izlude said,
IC Internet Canvas (no sounds too much like interstitial cystitis...)
Bing Experience?
Bing Browser (BB cool lol)
One Browser
Outlook Explorer (unless they just don't want the word explorer anymore?)

I would say "Internet Explorer One", maybe...Or "Web Explorer One"...

No, many people switching to Windows 7 or 8 will immediately notice improvements with the latest versions of IE. Combined IE market share is still pretty high. I think it will just increase (slowly).

Microsoft should focus on getting all those XP users to upgrade (re-releasing Windows 7 retail for a limited amount of time may help). XP is the real problem ATM. Yes, it gets work done, but Windows 7 is significantly better in many areas.

If they do re-brand, it would be cool if they called it 'Trident', like Gates did during the US vs Microsoft trial.

68k said,
... Microsoft should focus on getting all those XP users to upgrade (re-releasing Windows 7 retail for a limited amount of time may help). XP is the real problem ATM.

Win7 is still available out there, no need for MS to rehash it and give it official support as it'll create another WinXP situation. Look for a decent upgrade price on WIn9 for everyone, I figure that would be more likely.

User confusion galore ahead, unless they don't change the icon as well....

"George, where the bl**dy h**l is that blue roundy thingy"? You know, the one that will start up the Internet for me...? ;-P

Edited by Dutchie64, Aug 17 2014, 2:17pm :

d5aqoëp said,
Actually these days that blue icon has been replaced by multi colored circle called Chrome.

hahahah..... keep dreaming that up that chrome is the most popular. The reason is being installed in so many computers is because it's added anytime you need to update flash which is still needed by many sites. Although to be fair many people choose Chrome because they heard these wanna be techies recommend it as being better yet it's way less secured.

nickcruz said,

hahahah..... keep dreaming that up that chrome is the most popular. ........

.....Chrome because they heard these wanna be techies recommend it as being better yet it's way less secured.

A wannabe techie recommended me Chrome and I haven't looked back. BTW I dislike IE's partially cut UI. It just wastes too much space on top bar.

d5aqoëp said,

A wannabe techie recommended me Chrome and I haven't looked back. BTW I dislike IE's partially cut UI. It just wastes too much space on top bar.


Still have slimmest top panel compared to other browsers

nickcruz said,

hahahah..... keep dreaming that up that chrome is the most popular. The reason is being installed in so many computers is because it's added anytime you need to update flash which is still needed by many sites. Although to be fair many people choose Chrome because they heard these wanna be techies recommend it as being better yet it's way less secured.

Average user like you wouldn't understand why chrome is loved by developers or in your language(wanna be techies). IE still has most market share because it comes by default.

WebC0die said,

Average user like you wouldn't understand why chrome is loved by developers or in your language(wanna be techies). IE still has most market share because it comes by default.

And lazy devs like you is why IE doesn't have a good name.
It's not 2001 anymore, get over the hate.

d5aqoëp said,
Actually these days that blue icon has been replaced by multi colored circle called Chrome.

I use Chrome regularly, but I'm getting pretty p*ssed about it constantly eating my memory and crashing, so am thinking about switching over to IE more permanently. I do like the Chrome interface, though.

elenarie said,
No.

Re-brand it as a wheel. Maybe then I'll have a use for it. Right now piece of junk. Can't use with Windows 8 locks up constantly.

techbeck said,
No. Everyone knows Internet Explorer and the blue E icons and what they represent. MS browser share would tank.

Exactly. It's called brand recognition.

d5aqoëp said,
Yes. IE comes with poor reputation. Hopefully a new name and better HTML5 support would do wonders.

The only reason IE got a bad reputation was because they stopped development after IE6 and although the follow browsers until version 9 weren't great. Judging a browser from 2000-2001 and comparing it to a browser from 2006 is moronic at best.

nickcruz said,

Judging a browser from 2000-2001 and comparing it to a browser from 2006 is moronic at best.

Your name calling is unwarranted.

Once a reputation is spoiled, it's etched in our minds.

d5aqoëp said,
Yes. IE comes with poor reputation. Hopefully a new name and better HTML5 support would do wonders.

Or just save the time and resources, and continue working to make the browser better instead of trying to find quick fixes.

d5aqoëp said,
Yes. IE comes with poor reputation. Hopefully a new name and better HTML5 support would do wonders.

Agreed. For the current generation of users the IE *brand* is basically scorched earth. Done and dead. I don't see that perception changing anytime soon, either.